Sebastian Vettel has been left speechless after claiming an emotional win for Ferrari in just his second race for the team.
The German driver produced a perfect display in Malaysia on Sunday to clinch his first race win since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix, as Mercedes struggled with tire management in the extreme heat of Sepang.
Vettel joined Ferrari at the beginning of the year after spending six seasons with Red Bull in a move that saw him follow in the footsteps of his hero, Michael Schumacher.
In Malaysia on Sunday, the four-time world champion dominated proceedings at Sepang to cross the line 8.5 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
On the podium after the race, Vettel made no secret of his delight, struggling for words at times.
“It’s been a while – I haven’t been on the top step,” Vettel said. “My first time obviously with Scuderia Ferrari. I’m speechless…
“Obviously a big change over the winter, and the welcome that the team gave me has just been fantastic. I’ve only done two races, but it’s really a great atmosphere.
“[I’m] proud of today. We beat [Mercedes] fair and square. A great achievement, we have a great car. It is a bit emotional.”
Vettel mentioned Schumacher on the podium, saying that he is living a dream by racing for Ferrari and winning for the Scuderia.
“I am speechless,” Vettel said. “Last year was not a good year for me. I was struggling. This year’s car seems to suit me very well, and the team has been phenomenal.
“I remember when the gate opened at Maranello, it was like a dream coming true. I remember the last time I was there I was a kid watching Michael over the fence. Now I’m driving that very red car… it’s incredible.
“Today the race was spot on, great strategy, great race. Thanks to the team. A really really great day.”
With his fourth race win at Sepang, Vettel also became the most successful driver in the history of the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, and will be hoping to use this result as a springboard for a possible championship challenge in 2015.